Submitted to: International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2005
Publication Date: October 20, 2005
Citation: Jackson, T.J. 2005. Passive microwave remote sensing for land applications [abstract]. Abstracts of the 9th International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing (ISPMSRS 2005). Abstract 143. 2005 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Passive microwave remote sensing has made major contributions in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. These applications have exploited higher frequencies and used low frequencies to establish background conditions. Land applications have been hampered by the availability of low frequency observations and spatial resolution. Conventional technologies and approaches to retrievals have limited spatial resolution to the 50+ km spatial resolution range, which has in turn limited the potential usage to only very large scale studies. Three factors will affect land applications of passive microwave remote sensing over the next decade; operational low frequency instruments, exploratory missions with new technologies, and innovative approaches to integrating passive microwave observations with active microwave measurements. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on Aqua and ADEOS-II will transition to a component of the long term Japanese GCOM and Windsat will evolve to the Conical Microwave Imaging System on NPOESS. The lower frequencies and commitments to both data and algorithms should result in better products for land studies despite the rather coarse spatial resolution. Two exploratory missions will evaluate alternative technologies that could open a path to higher resolution passive microwave observations. The ESA SMOS mission will utilize synthetic aperture radiometry and NASA’s Hydros will employ a deployable lightweight mesh antenna. Each provides a different solution to the large size and mass constraints that have limited applications such as soil moisture. Another solution to achieving better spatial resolution, as well as enhancing information, is the integration of a high spatial resolution sensor with a coarser resolution passive microwave instrument. This concept will be explored as part of Hydros using high resolution radar data (~ 3 km) to disaggregate L band passive observations (~ 40 km) for soil moisture. These and additional studies will provide valuable information on the direction that future operational systems should take.